As of writing this I have survived 5 deployments (update, make that 7)! Deployments are tough both for those that are deployed and those that are left back home. The one thing though that I always looked forward to was spoiling my husband with care packages (at least one a week).
As the weeks go by though, you tend to start struggling for care package ideas. I wanted to make every week feel like Christmas time for him because, well, the place he is at sucks quite frankly and I knew these boxes and letters always cheered him up!
Care Package Ideas
Here are some care package ideas to include in your box. Also, make sure to check the list of prohibited items before mailing the box!
WHAT TO SEND
Soap with case
Anti-bacterial hand soap
Nail files (emery boards)
Hairspray (pump NO aerosol)
Eye drops (moisturizing)
Saline mist nose spray
Travel size Kleenex
Travel Board Games
Crossword Puzzle Books
Blank Greeting Cards (for soldiers to send home)
Stationery/journals/return address labels
Electronic Handheld Games
Puzzle Books/Mad Libs/Joke Books/Comic Books
Contact lens cleaner
Black ink pens
Sunscreen (bottle & roll on kind)
Bug repellent spray
Bath towel/washcloth (dark colors)
Bandanas (desert & woodland cami)
Batteries (all sizes especially AA)
Motrin/Tylenol/Dayquil capsules/cough drops/No Water Excedrin (mint)/Sinus Meds/Benadryl
Imodium AD/Pepto/Tums or Rolaids (all pill forms)
Standard bed pillow
Single sheet sets
AT&T Prepaid Global Calling Cards
DVDs & VHS Movies (lol you can tell how long ago I wrote this lost to include VHS)!
For the Women:
Feminine Hygiene Products
Nail polish (clear or neutral)
Instant Oatmeal/individual box cereal
Jello snack packs/Hunts Snack Puddings
Presweetened Kool-aid/Presweetened Lemonade Mix
Powder Gatorade/Crystal Lite Powder Drink Mix
LifeSavers/Certs/Tic Tacs/Chewing Gum/Lollipops/Tootsie Rolls/Hard Candy
Snack cakes/Rice Krispy Treats/cookies
Cups of Soup/Noodles
Milk & Cereal Bars/Granola Bars/Power Bars
Peanut butter & crackers
Frito Scoops/Pringles/Doritos (snack size packs)
Individual snack size chips
Trail mix/Chex Mix
Tuna snack kits/canned chicken/Sardines
Slim Jims/Beef Jerky/summer sausage
Dried Fruit/individual applesauce/canned fruit with pop tops
Canned & instant soup
Nuts/Raisins (individual bags/boxes)
Individually packaged pies
**No Pork Products/by-products can be sent!**
**No fresh meat, fresh fruits or vegetables**
Care Package Themes
Night At The Movie Care Package:
Already popped Popcorn
Their Favorite Candy
Rice Krispie Treats
Chips & Dip
Nachos (Nacho Cheese Flavored Doritos works well)
Remembering The Comforts Of Home Package:
Blanket (maybe one that you use often)
Pair of Slippers or Cozy Socks
Hot Cocoa or Coffee
Small packets of creamer and sugar
Picture of you and kids (if you have any)
Coloring pages your children have colored
Military Survival Kit
These fun kits are made simply by adding all of the “ingredients”, printing the list of items and their meaning and putting it all in a bag and inexpensive to make.
Lifesavers – to remind you that that’s what you are
Single serving of drink mix – “Instant drink” add water and shake, for when you are on maneuvers
A Match – To light your fire when you’re feeling burned out
Smarties – To help you on those days when you don’t feel smart
Mounds Bar – to remind you of the mounds of love & support you have from friends & family and members of Operation Military Pride
Tape- To fix things that will not work
Confetti- To remind you to have fun
A Starburst – To give you a burst of energy on days when you don’t have any
Pack of Gum – to help your unit stick together
Cotton Ball – to cushion the rough roads
A Rubber Band – To stretch yourself beyond the limits
A String – To tie things together when everything falls apart
Penny – we all need a little luck
A Marble- For when you lose yours
Battery – To give you that extra charge to keep you going… and going.
Piece of Rope – When you reach the end of yours, this will keep you going a bit longer
Sample pack of Excedrin – Thank you, I know this job can be a headache
Paperclip – to hold it all together
A Hersey hug- to let you know there’s always someone on your side
Mint – because you are worth a mint
Phone cards-reminder to call home
Candle – to light up the darkness
Tootsie Roll – to help you roll with the punches
Laughy taffy- to remind you to laugh
Jolly Rancher – to remind you how sweet things can be
Map of USA– so you will never be far from home.
Yellow Ribbon-So you will know you will always be supported till you come home
A Bag- To help you keep it all together
Halloween Theme Care Package
Java House Theme Care Package
Care Package Tips
Here are some tried and true tips when sending care packages. If you have a tip to add, please use the contact us form to send it to us!
Cookies – Brownies
Put in a Ziploc vacuum sealer bag to help them stay fresh.
When sending cookies place them in a Pringles can with a piece of bread so they won’t get crushed and will stay moist. If you have kids you can decorate the Pringles can with contact paper and your service member can reuse it to store small items.
Place cookies in a tin with a piece of bread to help them stay moist and in one piece.
Bake in cake form and cut into six large pieces.
Spillables – Shampoo’s, Lotions, Etc…
Place tape over caps and then place in a Ziploc baggies. The tape on the cap will help if from inadvertently opening during shipping and the Ziploc baggies will contain the spill in case the item does open up or explode during shipping. Try and squeeze all air out of the baggies before closing it.
Don’t send chocolate that has a tendency to melt (such as candy). The hot temperatures will most likely cause your chocolate candy to either melt over everything or separate and even though still edible will taste worse than chow hall food.
Have any other care package ideas, tips, or themes you would like to share? Comment below and let me know!